Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Shreya Diwakar.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Shreya's family, we cordially welcome all of you to an evening of dance. I'm , a post-Arangetram student at From Within Academy, and I will be your MC for this evening.

Before we get started, I’d like to remind everyone of some house rules.

 

- No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium

- If you must leave the auditorium during the performance; please do so in-between items

- If you have young children, please sit towards the aisle. Kindly leave the auditorium if they get restless and start crying so that it is not disturbing to the rest of the audience members. Kindly do not let the children roam around the theater unattended.

- Kindly maintain silence and talk softly when the show is in progress. If you talk loudly, it distrubs the artistes on stage.

 

We ask our audience to turn off their phones so they can stay present with their experience of the art that will be shared. It is touching that some may feel inspired to take their own photos and videos to share on social media. Instead, we invite you to write and speak about your experience after the performance. You are also encouraged to share official photos and videos from our social media accounts.

 

In our digital world, it is truly special that you took the time out of your life to appreciate live art. Please prepare to immerse yourself in this experience by turning your phones off now. Please do not take any photos or videos from this point forward. Thank you for your kind understanding!

Shreyais a disciple of Guru Smt. Subhashini Vijay Santhanam of the From Within Dance Academy a global dance organization with centers in the US and India. This evening of dance signifies both a beginning and a culmination of sorts for the dancer which include the endless hours of rigorous practice, varied emotions and complete immersion. All of which was done in the pursuit of excellence for this moment when she finally gets on stage – “Arangetram”. In Tamil (one of the south Indian languages) Aranga means a raised stage and “etram” means “to ascend”.
 
All items unless otherwise mentioned have been choreographed by our beloved Guru Subhashini.
 
For all the items we present today, as long as we are able identify clearly, we will mention the time period of the composition or composer life period so that we get an idea into the history and context of when the poem was written and music set. It is hoped that this will give the audience a deeper insight into the relevance of the oral tradition being passed on thru generations and the relevance of the composition in current times. While several old pieces have deep, timeless, philosophical and spiritual significance and several new pieces share values of a new social context with a unique appealing freshness.
 
We hope that the erudite and sensitive audience present today is able to appreciate it all thru our presentation today.

Mallari and Shloka

Raga: Gambheera Nattai

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Mallari is a piece of music generally played when accompanying the Lord’s procession through the streets adjacent to the temple. In this invocation, we invoke the Lord to take his seat on the stage so that we may have a successful performance. The shlokam following the Mallari is in praise of Lord Ganesha. It means, I make an offering of milk, honey, jaggery and pulses to you oh elephant faced Lord and in return please bless me with the best of the Tamil language from all the three Sangam eras.

Tisram Allarippu

Raga: null

Tala: Tisra Ekam

Composer: Tanjore Quartet

Choreographer: Kalakshetra/Rukmini Devi Arundale 29 February 1904 – 24 February 1986

This dance is typically an opening number. Starting with movements of the neck, eyes and shoulders, it gradually includes movements of the whole body. It is meant to represent the blossoming of a flower. This allarippu is set to a count of three beats.

Todi Jathiswaram

Raga: Todi

Tala: Tisra Ekam

Composer: Tanjore Quartet

Choreographer: Smt. Jayashree George

**Literally translated, Sorkattu means 'bundle of beats.' True to its translation, the music is arranged in beautiful rhythmic patterns. The dancer interprets the various movements in the music to bring out the beauty of the rhythm through her footwork, hand gestures and eyes and to express the unity of the dance and music. **

Ayar Sheriyar

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Tanjore Quartet

Choreographer: Kalakshetra

Srinidhi continues her journey and describes the mischievous cowherd God – Krishna- in a poem.

Lord Krishna, leader of all the cowherd boys, without anybody’s knowledge, including his mother and father’s , secretly stole the hearts of beautiful young maidens’ by playing melodiously on the flute. As the ladies churned butter, he stepped carefully into their homes and stole it from right under their noses.

As the girls came to fetch water from the river, he sat on a tree and played the flute so beautifully that they were mesmerized and forgot about their pots. They beckoned others to come and listen to their beloved Krishna.

His curly locks of hair sway gracefully and his beautiful face shines brightly. Even the timid deer forget to graze on the grass when Krishna plays enchantingly on his flute. He blows on the flute with lips as red as coral

With his little fingers on the flute, his lotus like eyes glancing aside, and beads of perspiration on his eyebrows, the protector of cows is playing on his flute. Our young lad, is playing intoxicating music on his flute.

All the young girls in the village, listen eagerly for Krishna’s enchanting music. They are overcome by their love for him and pray to him to come quickly so they can worship him. Here the interpretation changes to a realization that the lad is not merely any boy but the Lord himself and the prayer is for a union of our soul with that of the supreme soul.

Neelambari Varnam

Raga: Neelambari

Tala: Adi Ekam

Composer: Sri. Lalgudi G Jayaraman 1930-2013

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Varnam is the center piece in a bharatanatyam margam, with complex rhythm passages followed by expressive dance and storytelling. In this varnam, the primary emotion portrayed is “Shringara” or love. The “nayaka” or hero of the Varnam is Lord Muruga , the son of Lord Shiva and Godess Parvati. The lyrics describe Lord Muruga as commander of the Gods and the one living in Thiruchendur (a town that has the color of red denoting auspiciousness). This is also interpreted as the one wearing the red vermillion mark on his forehead. Muruga was born out of the spark emanating from the third eye on the forehead of Lord Shiva. The heroine laments – “Please show some mercy and take me to be one with you, oh holder of the spear. Is there any moment when I do not think of you? Don’t you understand my heart? Why these tricks and games? Is it fair? What would I do if you do not come? I do not know of any other place to go. I do not stop thinking of you even for a moment. It would make me
so happy to see your beautiful moon like face and your sweet smile.”

**She further says, “Come to me on your beautiful dancing peacock oh handsome Muruga, I am yearning to see your wondrous form. Don't you hear my pleas? Or do you not have the heart to come even on hearing me? My heart is melting, I have not eaten or slept, my eyes are overflowing with tears and my body is getting frail. I go in search of you everyday with so much eagerness and feel bad when I don’t find you. Can you please come and put an end to my misery?”**

Idadu Padam Thooki

Raga: Khama

Tala: Adi

Composer: Papanasan Sivan

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

**This keerthanam is in praise of Lord Nataraja, the Lord of dance. The poet describes Lord Nataraja as follows: Lord Nataraja, lifts his left foot and dances in the golden hall of the temple in Chidambaram. Let us join in sincere prayers to him. The snakes on his person lift their hoods and dance with him. The tiger skin that is around his waist moves along with his swaying body. His devotees sing his praises. Sage Vyagrapada and Sage Patanjali feast their eyes on his cosmic dance. Lord Nataraja’s bells resound in the hall. The crescent moon on his forehead shines brightly emitting blinding light. Lord Vishnu plays on his drums. Thus, Lord Shiva, consort of Goddess Shivakami, dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram.**

Kandanal Mudhalai

Raga: Madhavanti

Tala: Adi

Composer: N.S. Chidambaram

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The heroine recounts the time that she first saw Muruga in her childhood. She tells her friend that her love for him has been grow-ing ever since. Once, she and her friends met Muruga, who wanted to impress them with his prowess and accuracy with thespear, his weapon of choice. He asked that one of them place an apple on her head, and allow him to dislodge it with his spear.Although most of her friends ran away in fear, the heroine bravely put the apple on her head. Muruga succeeded easily and wonthe heroine's admiration. The heroine says, “In the beautiful garden, when the flowers were in full bloom and the bees arrived tocollect honey, we became one. The beautiful Lord Muruga arrived on his blue peacock with a soft smile on his lips, adorned mybraid with fragrant flowers, and filled my heart.

Nee Riappai

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Adi

Composer: Arunachala Kavi (1711–1779)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

Nee Uraippai is part of Rama Natakam, a musical drama based on the Ramayana.

The whole song is a conversation between Hanuman and Lord Rama.

Lord Rama’s wife Sita is missing. He meets Hanuman and Hanuman is eager to serve his Lord find his wife.

Hanuman wonders how he would recognize Sita and how she would react if she sees him. Lord Rama thinks for a bit and offers his ring to Hanuman that would serve as a sign that she would recognize. He also recites from his and Sita's life and asks Hanuman to recite those events to Sita to give her confidence that Hanuman is indeed trusted friend

Rama says -

Go and tell Devi Sita that I told you

If she asks you "Who you are", tell you are "Sri Rama's Envoy"

At the request of one Sage, I went after the female demon Thaataka

She fell like a Pine tree as I killed her with my arrow, Tell her (Sita) this story

She (Sita) trembled sadly when I told her not to come with me to walk in the dense forests

Then I sensed her strength and told her to come and she gave me a gentle smile.



All our troubles started because you said to me, "Please catch that deer and give him to me"

Simhendramadyanam - NEW

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